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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

War Remains Reburied for A 3rd Time

Itar-TassRemains of six Soviet pilots being reburied in a Khimki cemetery on Sunday.
The remains of six Soviet pilots dug up from a memorial along Leningradskoye Shosse last month were reburied in a Khimki cemetery Sunday.

This was the third time that the pilots' remains have been reburied; the other two times were on the 20th and 40th anniversaries of the May 9 holiday commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Alexander Mustafin, who designed a new memorial to the pilots, said by telephone.

Khimki military commissioner Vladislav Yurkovsky said the pilots had been buried with military honors and -- for the first time -- in line with Russian Orthodox practice, Interfax reported.

About 1,000 people gathered for the reburial ceremony in the Novoluzhinskoye Cemetery.

The old memorial to the pilots is still alongside Leningradskoye Shosse and will be restored for the Victory Day holiday this week, said Sergei Fateyev, a Moscow region legislator. "No one can talk about any sacrilege or desecration" toward the pilots' remains, Fateyev said, Interfax reported. "The reburial was conducted very carefully."

Dozens of Communist supporters rallied against the reburial late last month, calling it a sacrilege, especially in light of Moscow's indignation over Estonia's decision to exhume the remains of Soviet soldiers and move them and a war memorial across Tallinn.

The administration of Khimki, located on Moscow's northern outskirts, allowed the reburial after war veterans complained that prostitutes were hanging around the old site along Leningradskoye Shosse. Authorities also want to widen the highway.